Whether wandering galleries, browsing art shops or meeting local artists, the region is an abundant arts hub waiting to be explored.
Amongst the rolling vineyards and coastal trails, there’s a thriving arts scene that continues to impress. With one of the highest number of artists per capita in South Australia, the region is home to nationally recognised artists and internationally acclaimed cultural events.
“The arts scene is a vibrant mix of artists working in a wide variety of mediums,” says Ros Miller, owner of restaurant and gallery Red Poles in McLaren Vale. “There are many studios and galleries with regular workshops and exhibitions showcasing local, South Australian, international and Indigenous artists in both visual and performance.”
Ros is passionate about showcasing Indigenous artwork. Red Poles hosts a unique collection of beautiful Indigenous pieces and features a strong Indigenous program, further strengthening the region’s art experience. “Red Poles offers a regional Indigenous gallery representing Aboriginal communities throughout South Australia as well as exhibiting other local and South Australian artists. Red Poles also offers workshops and is a live music venue every Sunday with occasional cabaret nights too. The region’s wineries have long been supporters of the arts and it’s the perfect accompaniment to the food and wine scene,” says Ros.
The region’s art experiences continue to grow with the creation of gallery spaces like the Fleurieu Arthouse in McLaren Vale and Port Noarlunga’s Sauerbier House. The Fleurieu Arthouse forms part of Hardy’s Tintara winery and is a great way to meet some of the local artists working creatively in the artisan studios. It is a great way to immerse yourself into the region’s arts world. Sculpture, painting and jewellery are among the featured works, just a few in an impressive collection and a great showcase for the area.
Another great regional gallery is The Gallery at the McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Visitor Information Centre. The rammed earth building is a feature in itself, showcasing the works of local and regional artists, as well as the supporting local musicians and artisan produce through hosting the Vale Market.
Port Noarlunga is the region’s creative coastal village, home to the Arts Centre, Sauerbier House, public murals and sculptures. Sauerbier House is a beautifully restored heritage cottage situated on Onkaparinga River, where the river meets the sea. It delivers a contemporary arts program featuring artists in residence, open studios and year round calendar of associated exhibitions and events.
The Port Noarlunga Arts Centre hosts a range of performances and exhibitions together with workshops, classes and events. The Centre’s Art Shop is a great spot to pick up locally made jewellery, textiles, ceramics, woodwork, paintings and cards. Port Noarlunga is a must-visit arts destination.
Willunga is also an arts hotspot. With a number of galleries and working arts studio, there is a lot of creativity to be discovered.
Paint your own canvas and explore the range of arts and cultural experiences, amongst the region’s unique vineyard and coastal landscape.
It’s one thing to admire art and chat to the artists, but getting involved in creating a masterpiece of your own is often the best way to experience the culture. The region offers a range of workshops and sessions that encourage participation and learning. Keep an eye out for classes at….
In addition to the region’s vibrant arts community, exhibition spaces and galleries, there is also an abundance of public art to be discovered. From Reynella to Willunga, and Port Noarlunga to Christies Beach, the region boasts a range of murals, sculptures, glass works and installations. Look out for the slate koala in Willunga, the decorated glass ceiling in Reynella as well as the 3D mural, sculptural totem poles and ‘The Goggles’ installations at Port Noarlunga, to name a few. Explore the varied works through ten Walks of Art by downloading the digital or pdf maps available online.